For mobile robots, the essential units of actuation, computation, and sensing must be designed to fit within the body of the robot. Additional capabilities will largely depend upon a given activity, and should be easily reconfigurable to maximize the diversity of applications and experiments. To address this issue, we introduce a modular architecture originally developed and tested in the design and implementation of the X-RHex hexapod that allows the robot to operate as a mobile laboratory on legs. In the present paper we will introduce the specification, design and very earliest operational data of Canid, an actively driven compliant-spined quadruped whose completely different morphology and intended dynamical operating point are nevertheless built around exactly the same “Lab on Legs” actuation, computation, and sensing infrastructure. We will review as well, more briefly a second RHex variation, the XRL latform, built using the same components.
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